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IDEAS FOR ENJOYING EVERY BIT OF SUMMER
If you’re like most families, you’ve probably already entered that summer mindset, ahh! But don’t blink, because before you know it, you’ll be gearing up for the fall. We know the hardest part about summer is how it seems to race by. Here are some ways to slow it down, so you and your family can squeeze out every last drop of summer goodness.
1. Keep Your Bucket List Short and Sweet
Trying to cram too many must-dos into the summer can result in an overpacked schedule and unnecessary stress. Prepping for too many big trips or activities can actually take away from the experiences themselves. You don’t want to feel like you need a vacation after your vacation! Prioritize what you and your family really want to experience this summer, and just focus on the few top ones, with plenty of space to prepare and chill out in between.
2. Draw Inspiration from Your Own Childhood
What was it--summers at the lake? Building a treehouse? Playing a backyard game of baseball? Or just spraying each other with the hose? In today’s fast-paced, overscheduled family model, a lot of the magic of simpler childhoods and simpler summers has been lost. Don’t be afraid to revisit some of the summer activities you loved as a kid and share them with your family.
3. Make Travel Fun
Don’t waste the hours spent on travel with maddening choruses of “Are we there yet?” and crankily awaiting your destination. There are ways to make travel fun and an integral part of your family’s adventure. Though plopping a screen in front of kids’ faces is sometimes necessary, this list has some creative ideas to keep them engaged during the ride/flight. Plan frequent and interesting stops ahead of time, so that you can give your kids some manageable along-the-way points to look forward to.
4. Plan for Plenty of Downtime
Again, our instincts are to try and pack in as much as we can in the summers, but we often forget the value of downtime. After all, summer is about rest just as much as it is about adventure. Make sure you have days of downtime scheduled in. Downtime (and even the boredom that comes with it) is often the birthplace of children’s most creative ideas for play and exploration.
5. Be Present and Play!
Your kids will always remember the times that you joined them in their world of imagination, play, and creativity. Don’t underestimate the value of abandoning your own to-do list, letting loose, and just playing with them.
What are you looking forward to this summer? Do you have any advice for making summer last as long as possible?